U2 stunning


U2 stunning

Joshua Tree, U2 concert Auckland
The towering Joshua tree structure with the huge LED screen behind

Zahra Shahtahmasebi finds she’s a fan girl

I never ever thought “fan girl” would be a term I would use to describe myself, but this all changed on 8 November 2019.

It was an incredibly warm spring evening at Mount Smart Stadium, as my sister and I stood nestled among some 20,000 other concert goers. The air was fizzing with anticipation as we waited and I was beginning to feel nervously excited.

All of a sudden, as the sun was setting, the lights on the stage went down. We could hear singing, music, and the audience began to cheer, their heads snapping from one side to the other like they were watching a tennis match, searching for the source of the noise.

From a staircase that goes below the stage, emerged Larry Mullen Jr and, as he walked down to his drum kit, he waved to the crowd.

Mount Smart Stadium gradually fills up with U2 fans as the sun goes down
Like a banshee

He sat down at the drums, smashed out the starting beat to Sunday Bloody Sunday, and that was it. I’m totally unashamed to say that this was the moment I became a “fan girl”. I screamed like a banshee and as the rest of the U2 band members came out to join Larry there were tears in my eyes.

Embarrassing, I know, but it's not every day you get to see your favourite band, live, and get to be ridiculously close to the stage to boot.
I danced, I sang along to every song, until I had no voice left, but most of all I enjoyed being able to see a performance from a band that has endured for more than 40 years.

After years of watching recordings of U2 concerts as a kid, it seemed to me that Bono, The Edge, Larry and Adam hadn’t aged a day. It was a great surprise to find out Bono is now 59, as he leapt and pranced about the stage.

Sunday Bloody Sunday is belted out from the smaller stage
Littered with tributes

The show was littered with tributes; One Tree Hill was played in memory of the band’s late roadie, Kiwi man Greg Carroll, for whom The Joshua Tree album is dedicated; Ultraviolet (Light my way) was played in tribute of the world’s powerful women, from Kate Sheppard, to Michelle Obama and Greta Thunberg; and lastly, One was played in memory of the 50 people killed in the Christchurch mosque attack earlier this year.

This last tribute was for me, particularly touching, and it was all I could do to stop myself from crying my eyes out.

When it finished it was hard to believe it was over, and as we traipsed towards the Penrose station with the crowds, my sister and I contemplated finding tickets and coming back again the very next day.

Even now, two days later, the whole experience for me still feels very surreal – thank goodness I have photos and videos to remind myself that it wasn’t just a dream... Can safely say I can tick that off the bucket list!

U2 frontman Bono belts out a number
Documentary footage and poetry
Documentary footage, poetry and Joshua trees were broadcast on the large screen dwarfing the band
U2 strike a pose
U2 strike a pose, mirroring the one that had been printed on official concert t-shirts
Official concert t-shirts
Zahra and her sister had to get some official merchandise!